[LMB] OT: Linguistic Amusement!

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Sun Apr 19 11:24:21 BST 2020


James observes:

"Karen wonders:-

 >...if there are translators who translate
 > names as well, making them easier.

Yes - the names in the original (French)
Asterix are puns or jokes in French. In the
translations they are (mostly - not Asterix
himself, or Obelix) changed to jokes in the
new language. But editorial control is good
and the translated names are, as far as I
have noticed, consistent in different books.

[justified rant about Sjowall and Wahloo endorsed but omitted]

James - who has ranted about this here before
(roughly once every five years, the most recent
being in 2015, so we were due another)"

John: Indeed. In the early-mid 1960s Tolkien, having been appalled by the
Swedish translation, wrote a guide for translators of LR largely concerned
with which names should and should not be rendered for meaning in the
target language. There was a mid-1970s limited edition, but it is now
available to all in Scull and Hammond's excellent *Reader's Guide to LR*,
and very interesting too.

The Bell & Hockeridge translations of Asterix into English are superb --
not only Vitalstatistix (the chief), Cacophonix (the bard), Unhygienix (the
fishmonger), and Dogmatix (a dog), but my favourites, the two Roman
centurions called Sendervictorious and Appianglorious.

-- 
John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

Associate Member & Director of Studies in English, Hughes Hall, Cambridge
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